Do you enjoy having a comforting bowl of cereal with milk at any time of the day? The start-up scene provides us with an array of pop-up and niche shops and eateries that cater for all our wants. One that has recently captured many people’s imaginations is the Cereal Killer Café.
This killer café sells over 100 types of cereal, 30 different varieties of milk—even something for the lactose intolerant—and over 20 toppings; all of this served in a nostalgic diner setting from the 1980’s and 90’s. Launched on Brick Lane in London by twin brothers Alan and Gary Keery, the cereals are sourced from around the world. Brands sold at the café include popular flavours Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, and rarer ones like Oreo-Os.
“Oreo-Os were so hard to track down,” Gary says. “They’re from South Korea, and people are selling them for £30, £40 a box on eBay. Boo-Beeries are limited edition – they’re only out at Hallowe’en.”
Not to worry though, all imported cereal costs the same price as regular cereal. The menu begins with a small bowl of cereal for £2.50 (30g) and goes up to a large bowl for £3.50 (50g). The bowls come with milk on the side, because according to Garry, “people are very particular about the amount of milk, and the amount of crunch they want.”
The brothers opened their venture on Brick Lane, which is a hipster hotspot and home to a number of quirky cafés.
“We thought ‘why isn’t there anywhere that you can just go and sit down and have a bowl of cereal?'” says Gary. “So we went and did some research into it – would it work as a business? How would it look? Where would we get the cereal from? And everything was just ticking all the boxes for us.“
However, the east London borough is one of the capital’s poorest, where more one in two children grow up living in poverty. In a cringe-worthy encounter captured on camera by Channel 4 London, the twin brothers were challenged as to whether local residents could afford to eat at their café. And while they seemed surprised by the question, they responded by saying that they think it’s quite cheap for the area.
Regardless, they’ve seen the best and worst of being in the start-up spotlight; both by receiving fantastic press exposure but also by being at the receiving end of organized protests for how they represent unwanted ‘gentrification’ of some neighbourhoods. In fact, they’ve even dealt with the aftermath of an attack on their Cereal Killer Café, cleaning red paint off the shop front and scrubbing the word “scum” off the windows. People have even gone so far as to send death threats.
The cafe is open from 7am until 10pm and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner; meaning cereal aficionados can get their fix pretty much anytime of day. Cereal is found everywhere in the café, including in the art; Gary created a Cheerios portrait of TV serial killer Dexter to create contrast. Finally, to complete the dining experience at the Cereal Killer Café, the brothers also added a cool selection of cereal-themed desserts and merchandise.
So if you’re ever in London and looking for breakfast, stop by the Cereal Killer Café and find your favourite brand.